Unverified Voracity Converts Speed To Power Comment Count

Brian July 13th, 2017 at 1:32 PM


Sponsor note! If you're headed down to Dallas for the Florida game, the alumni association has packages that may be of interest. The star: an air-conditioned, open bar tailgate with adjacent parking. They've got various packages available, including a ticket + tailgate combo ($300 for adults) and a travel package with two nights at the Omni Forth Worth, transportation, tickets, and the tailgate for $799. The deadline for that is the end of the month. 

Hit up the Alumni Association website for more details.

Bill Connelly preview time. That defensive radar though:


That's from Connelly's comprehensive preview of this year's edition of Michigan. It's good, read it. S&P+ projects Michigan 10th nationally but has them just on the wrong side of 10-2 versus 9-3.

I have but one semi-quibble: as he runs down the many departures from last year's team he notes that three all-conference OL are gone. This is somehow true—both Kyle Kalis and Ben Braden made the second team—but that's an artifact of the All Big Ten coach's selections being the SID's selections and their long tenure as senior starters on a good team. A more accurate measure of the departed players' prowess is that none of them got drafted, or even invited to the combine. I think most Michigan fans are expecting a step forward on the OL despite the departures. (As long as right tackle isn't a disaster.)

Speaking of that offensive line. This is a bit of a frustrating thing to hear in re: last year.

"This year has been a lot more serious," Kugler said. "We've been getting out there and putting in the work. We'll hit the sleds occasionally but that's more for fall camp. It's about getting the technique down properly and just running through blitz cards and stuff like that, getting ready to for what we'll see against Florida."

The level of seriousness is not dependent on Jim Harbaugh, that's for sure. In the offseason it's up to the players to do it themselves, and apparently this is another level from the guys who were more Hoke holdovers than not.

Here's an excellent definition of "speed to power." From Jon Runyan Jr:

"Rashan's going to be one of the best players in the country, going up against him in practice every day is only going to help everyone -- he's the measuring stick for everyone here," offensive lineman Jon Runyan Jr. says. "He'll do this thing off the edge, they call it speed-to-power. You think he's just speed rushing you and then he comes through with a bull rush and he blows you back five yards."

Also, Rashan Gary is good.

Still a good decision. DJ Wilson is impressing in the NBA summer league:

Through three NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas, Wilson is averaging 14.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 blocks in 27.7 minutes per game. Draining 5 of 13 3-pointers, throwing down dunks and guarding multiple positions, the 6-foot-10 forward has made a strong first impression with his new franchise.

"He's a specimen," said Milwaukee guard and 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year winner Malcolm Brogdon. "He's big, he's athletic. Very skilled. I really like him, I think he's going to be really, really good for us."

He also signed a contract worth six million dollars, so he's got that going for him.

In other Michigan-to-the-NBA news, Derrick Walton might stick with the Orlando Magic. The Magic just waived their backup PG before his contract became guaranteed. The current roster situation:

C.J. Watson is a candidate to be cut soon (his contract becomes guaranteed on July 10) and the Magic are likely shopping D.J. Augustin’s contract, so it is possible there will be an opportunity for Walton, although the recent acquisition of point guard Shelvin Mack complicates the logistics.

If the Magic indeed move Watson and Augustin, Walton would conceivably have a chance at a job as the third point guard on the Magic behind Shelvin Mack and starter Elfrid Payton (although Kalin Lucas of the Erie Bayhawks, the Magic’s G-League affiliate, might have something to say about that).

Walton isn't an NBA athlete unless he's going for a defensive rebound, but efficient pull-up three maestros can find a spot in the league despite other deficiencies. Hopefully he sticks. If not he can be a star in Europe.

More on Josh Norris. NHL gent scouting Josh Norris after his participation at the San Jose Sharks summer camp:

"One of those guys when they're first skating around, the first five minutes, you go, 'He can move,' " Sommer said. "And a lot of guys are like that, and then you put a puck on their stick and they slow down, but he skates the same way with a puck that he does without a puck. You can just tell he's like kind of above everyone else with his skill level."

Fun fact: he spent seven years in Germany growing up because his dad was playing and then acting as general manager for a German team. He's fluent in German.

There's no way this is what it seems like. I find this hilarious since Detroit City's motto is nigh literally "fuck you", but if you think about it for a half second it's probably not what it seems like:

Gores' Palace Sports files federal trademark for 'Detroit City Soccer Club'

I am not a lawyer but it beggars belief that DCSC would not be found to violate DCFC's trademarks. Same city, same undertaking, same name save one word that is a synonym. If it means anything—and it probably doesn't—it means Gilbert and Gores are covering their bases in case they buy DCFC. Or they're just trolling the supremely trollable DCFC fanbase.

Meanwhile in Detroit's MLS bid. Dan Gilbert has submitted a final proposal to the city for the fail jail swap. Key bits:

  • Gilbert pledges to build a 520 million dollar jail plus a bunch of other related stuff on East Forest avenue. Cost to the city: 380 million, with Rock responsible for any overruns.
  • There is a competing bid to complete the fail jail for 320 million, with no cost overrun assurances. It also appears to be a more modest project that only completes the jail without the various other stuff.
  • Gilbert makes up the 140 million dollar gap by getting the current fail jail site, where he and Gores want to build a billion-dollar stadium and mixed used blah blah blah.
  • Gilbert also gets "credits" for the savings that the city forecasts as a result of combining all the criminal justice things into one campus.

The jail was suspended after a whopping 91 million dollars of overruns on a project supposed to cost 220 million total. Meanwhile the city has been spending over a million dollars a month to maintain the existing construction site.

This is a very weird stadium deal and that makes it difficult to evaluate whether or not this qualifies as a public subsidy. The 520 million number may be largely fictional, in which case the Rock deal is the city paying 60 million + whatever the land is worth. It may be real, in which case it looks fairly even. The pledge to pay for overruns could be worth nothing, or it could be worth a hundred million dollars. These "credits" are loosely defined but appear to be a way for Rock to get back some of the gap between what the county will pay up front and their projected cost for the complex. They're kind of like property tax reductions cities will offer brownfield developments.

Shifting the downside away from the city is an attractive proposition after the previous debacle. And while stadium economic impact studies are without fail overblown hoo-haw, "jail plus nothing" is worse than "jail plus soccer stadium and condos and whatnot."

If Gilbert and Gores do get the deal done, Detroit will become a highly attractive target for MLS. The ownership group consists of billionaires. The market is large and there are many nearby rivals. Detroit has a lot of immigrants to appeal to and is generally an excellent pro sports town—people still go to Lions games! And one by one other cities are finding it difficult to bring together bids without public support that is not forthcoming. Previous heavy favorites St. Louis and San Diego are all but out of the running after votes failed. Ditto Charlotte and Indianapolis. Remaining realistic locations other than Detroit are Sacramento (the one bid that is shovel ready right now), Phoenix, Tampa, Cincinnati, Nashville, and San Antonio.  Four bids will get approved; all bids other than Sacramento have hurdles to clear.

Etc.: MSU hockey loses Mason "Larry" Appleton to the NHL. He had 31 points in 35 games for a struggling MSU team and qualifies as a big loss indeed, even if no one expects much out of Danton Cole in year one. Or year two. Michigan as autonomous driving hub. Shutdown Fullcast on the Big Ten East. Freeze lawsuits. David DeJulius profiled.



July 13th, 2017 at 1:50 PM ^

Avoiding politics but those credits can be worth a lot and completely screw a city.  Baltimore is struggling a ton with property tax issues and underfunded school budgets because they gave too many similar credits and they can be worth hundreds of millions.  Not to mention the Gilbert plan involves building a bigger facility which people shouldn't support but that gets into a lot more criminal justice reform stuff that doesn't belong on this blog.


July 13th, 2017 at 2:03 PM ^

It's bigger because it would consolidate other jails that need to be replaced. And even in a worse case scenario tax credits for a set number of years really won't screw the city any more than building a massive county jail complex directly in the central business district would. That's a hundred year mistake, was always incredibly stupid and crooked, and I'm constantly shocked there's so many people against this rare opportunity to reverse a massive blunder.


July 13th, 2017 at 2:22 PM ^

I would argue you could close the other facilities and just use a smaller jail complex if you are using evidence based decision making in the criminal justice system, eliminating monetary bail that holds non dangeroun non-convicted people in jail for being poor, etc.  But like I said not the place for these discussions. 

And I'd have to see the the tax credit plan, it could be tax credits for 5 years or 50 years, and there isn't a set maximum which is a dangerous game to play. You may be right that building a jail in a central business district is a mistake, but you don't need to give a tax credit to a billionair private investor to rectify that mistake in retrun for also spending more as a county.  There are other negotaiating options.


July 13th, 2017 at 3:22 PM ^

There's a paywalled Crains article in which a Rock honcho says something along the lines of "we don't expect to get all of the 120 million dollar gap back," so they seem to be relatively limited in scope and duration. Since that gap seems to be payment for the fail jail's land, though, it's questionable that they should get anything. 


July 13th, 2017 at 1:55 PM ^

Given that Cincinnati has entered into a deal with a developer who already has the land in Newport under contract and the city already has TIF in place, it's hard not to think of the FCC bid as being shovel ready.  If they get the MLS bid, they'll do their due-diligence on the stadium sites in OTR and Oakley, but if those don't get done quickly they could start building across the river immediately.

The main drawback to Cincinnati is that it's neck and neck with Salt Lake City as the smallest media market in MLS.  If you include Dayton like the front office wants to, then it's middle of the pack.  Lots of good reasons to not inlclude Dayton, though, especially if the stadium is in KY.  (The big one being that it seems reasonable to assume that most soccer fans in Dayton willing to support a team an hour away have already latched on to Columbus, no matter how depressing of an existance that is.)


July 13th, 2017 at 2:13 PM ^

I watched the Chicago Fire play the Cincinnati FCC team a couple weeks ago in some US soccer tournament I'd never heard of before, followed by the Galaxy playing some Sacramento team in Sacramento. If those two games are any indication, Cincinnati >>> Sacramento. The Cincy game reminded me of a Portland/Seattle contest, while the Sac-town game was played on a high school field, i.e., there were no stands, just a few people standing around or watching from lawn chairs.


July 13th, 2017 at 2:24 PM ^

I had the good fortune to be in the Bailey, behind the penalty shoot-out.  FCC usually pulls out a good crowd, but it was bonkers that night.  I'd put the atmosphere as a close third behind the Western Regional at Yost in '02 and the 4th quarter/OTs of BraylonFest in '04.  It was that good. 

EDIT: And the goalie, Hildebrandt, that stopped 3 out of 4 penalties, is from Livonia and played collegiately at Oakland University.  If the MLS bid really comes down to Detroit vs. Cincy, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him backstopping the winner someday.


July 13th, 2017 at 5:32 PM ^

The game was played at the Stub Hub Center's track and field stadium. I guess I just assumed it was at Sacramento because I figured if it was in LA they would use the actual Stub Hub Center. I've been there once before. Nice venue.


July 13th, 2017 at 2:07 PM ^

A couple corrections on the fail jail bid, or as I like to call it, Ficano's Folly:

- It's the county, not the city.

- I believe the "operational savings credits" are out of the current proposal; they were in the initial proposal, but not the current one.  This might be because that was a negotiating point they weren't very attached to, or because there kind of already is a campus in the first place.

- Gilbert would not only get the fail jail site, but the whole rest of the campus too.  It's a huge parcel.  A stadium wouldn't really fit on just the jail footprint.

I'm practically on my knees begging Warren Evans to accept Gilbert's offer.  I hate the big concrete ugly thing on prime downtown land with a fiery passion.


July 13th, 2017 at 2:17 PM ^

Was everyone really less serious last year? Or was Kugler less serious last year and is now perceiving his own maturity gains as a unit wide thing?


July 13th, 2017 at 2:40 PM ^

I would somewhat agree with the latter than the former, except I don't think it's a case of being less serious per se.

Since it's his last year to try produce, and he has a serious contender in Ruiz for the Center spot as well as Onwenu and others for Guard, I'm sure he's putting an even greater emphasis on this off-season.

Perhaps it's just me but every year a reserve seems to say similar things but I think they're speaking of their own perception based on their new opportunity.


July 13th, 2017 at 5:56 PM ^

To me, it sounded like an empty quote guys always say. Every year I read about how they are doing it better this year than last, and yet most times that doesn't amount to a noticeable difference. So if they break 5.5 ypc and Speight has all day to throw, then sure, changes in focus. But "people care and we are working hard" feels like an empty statement you make because you have a microphone in your face and you are going from backup to presumed starter.


July 13th, 2017 at 8:06 PM ^

locker room get weird. Especially when the coaches aren't around as much, most of the younger guys cede leadership and responsibility to the older guys/returning starters. Right or wrong, if you try and lead the team as a freshman/sophomore that hasn't seen the field much, people are going to laugh at you. This sometimes puts guys that may or may not be leadership material (OLine last year) into the spotlight. I have a feeling that the OLine as a whole may not have worked too hard last offseason if they're working significantly harder this year. 

Sorry if this doesnt make sense, long day and I started drinking.


July 13th, 2017 at 2:59 PM ^

The O line will be better this season. Guys like Magnsussen and Braden never really seemed like nasty blockers. Kalis was never consistent, I have many visons of him not blocking anybody on pulls. I know there will be a lot of unknowns on the O line this season but I have a feeling that the overall attitude of the group will be a lot nastier/aggressive.


July 13th, 2017 at 3:10 PM ^

Selfishly, I'd love to see Detroit and Nashville get two of the bids (aside from Sacramento, which looks all-but guaranteed, they also seem to have two of the strongest cases, along with Cincinnati). 

The fail jail thing is always so strange to me. Where's the resistance? Outside of a few politicians who have obviously held up the matter incessantly, it seems like everyone is in favor of there not being a jail there, and most are in favor of a stadium. Living downtown for three years before I moved to Nashville, I met literally zero citizens who wanted a jail there, or thought it was a good idea. Selection bias, sure, but there's got to be something to that. Even as someone really leery of Dan Gilbert ("gobble up all property for personal gain, be painted as hero of city" sits a little uncomfortably with me), it seems like a win-win here.


July 13th, 2017 at 8:34 PM ^

of market research, interviews, etc. I can tell you with near certainty "more serious" applies to Kugler primarily and probably doesn't speak for how serious other guys were last summer.  It's human nature to speak from an ego-centric point of view.

He may not have even known how serious the starters were going. He was going to be a backup last year, he knew that for sure by the summer, and so he probably didn't prepare like a starter. He's now thrust into a much better opportunity this year.  That kind of pressure has a way of making you get serious (along with it being your last year to prove something).

I would not read into that as guys last year not being serious.  And to deduce from that comment that Hoke guys, in particular, might be less serious, is a biiiig leap.  The rest of the Hoke guys absolutely busted their butts to get drafted last year. Just because a couple O linemen never panned out as draftable stars is a case of losing a couple inevitable talent coin flips, especially when Braden wasn't all that "talented" to begin with.

CRISPed in the DIAG

July 13th, 2017 at 3:45 PM ^

Folks in Raleigh are clinging to the hope that their bid from NCFC (formerly "Carolina Railhawks") is in the "upper-half" of the surviving bids. They currently have good support/attendance in a nice soccer-only facility in Cary but have a proposal for a private facility in downtown Raleigh if they can get some infrastructure improvements. 

The FannMan

July 13th, 2017 at 4:31 PM ^

Can MLS please stop using European soccer names.  No more "City," "United," or "Real."   (I suppose NYCFC is authentic since it is wholly owned by Man City.)

My preference would be to have the team in Detroit simply be called "Detroit."  No Euro names.  No masocot.  No BS - just "Detroit."  A soccer version of the Raiders uniforms would be my color preference.  We could, however, borrow Detroit City's motto.

Blue Balls Afire

July 14th, 2017 at 5:16 AM ^

Am I the only one who can't stand Ryan Fucking Nanni (his official name) on the Shutdown Fullcast?  That podcast would be so much better if they replaced Ryan Fucking Nanni.  He's never funny or insightful and constantly interrupts the other two who are. Ryan Fucking Nanni totally ruins the show for me.